I've been rock climbing lately. It's a really fun activity that is also a fantastic work out. Rock climbing is a very special sport. There is definitely an easy door for beginners, but there are also some difficult hurdles to leap before being a skilled climber. I have climbed before this year, but this year is when I really got a bit more serious. It's difficult to make myself take a day off to rest my fingers and my arms.
Bailey and I got our beginners' belay card. This lets us belay for each other and other people. Until we've gone 10 times, we have to tell the employees that we are beginners and we have to stand in order to be more focused and to indicate our beginner status. We learned all about the gear used, the steps used in order to remain safe, and all about climbing.
My hands have been sore from climbing, but I still like to push myself. There are different routes marked out on the climbing wall with colored tape. Some routes are easier than others, and we also have two sides to our wall - A side, which is mostly vertical, and B side, which hangs out over, and is thus more difficult.
I have mastered two routes on A side, and one, which is the easiest route, I have been able to climb using "all natural" feet - meaning I don't use any of the holds for my feet; I only place my feet directly on the grooves (or flat parts) of the wall. I've been able to climb one route on B side almost to the top, but I can't get the last hold, which is the top of the wall. I'll keep practicing, and I'll get there eventually.
I'm hoping to get some gear of my own soon. I'd like to get my own harness and my own climbing shoes. Both make a big difference. The harness makes a difference with comfort, and the shoes make the difference while climbing. The shoes have a hard, narrow sole that allow you to place a lot of weight on a single point on your foot. They also angle downward a small amount, so that when you place the weight on your foot, your foot flattens, as opposed to your foot being flat, and curving up when placing the weight. I bought a 10-use pass for renting shoes at the climbing wall and they help immensely.
I hope to have some pictures soon, and hopefully a status update on my route completion!